Anderson's Food Pantry Thrives from Conference Support
By Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Communications Specialist, Mississippi Conference
Photo right: A volunteer in the Anderson UMC food pantry gives a bag to a visitor.
Anderson UMC has proven that it is so much more than a spiritual oasis, but a vital asset to the community at large. For 28 years, Anderson's Food Pantry Mission has provided food for citizens of the lower West Jackson area, home to a sweeping demographic of deserving and less fortunate families. This mission has since flourished, serving nearly 420 persons a month, but has also enabled the church to hear the cry of the community for more than food alone.
"Connect Us," a two-fold ministry, is Anderson's heart-felt response to the community's growing needs. In effort to eradicate poverty in the area, the church joined with homeless feeding missions of Galloway UMC and Stewpot. According to the associate pastor of Anderson United Methodist Church, Rev. Domini Henry, this project became a way to connect with people and other organizations that were reaching the disinherited and disenfranchised. Together, they were also able to provide toiletries, clothing, blankets, and holiday food items for families.
Rev. Henry believes that this project was more than an opportunity to feed individuals physically, but "an opportunity to feed souls by providing a place of worship to new individuals." This project helped expand the church's premises to comfortably accommodate those worshipping and in need.
Anderson is able to provide this service because of a mission grant through the Mississippi Conference Office of Connectional Ministries. In a written report to the conference, the pastor expressed that the church is able to be a witness of God's word according to the New Testament. "On a weekly basis we continue to try and reach out to those whom Christ mentioned, in an attempt to feed those who are hungry and clothe those who may be naked, literally and spiritually. Having those funds made available to us and also having others sew into this ministry has truly been a Glory Sighting in disguise."
Anderson UMC plans to continue this ministry as they build and strengthen the connection between the community and those less fortunate, all while serving its greater purpose; to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
About Mission Grants
The Mississippi Conference Connectional Ministries Mission Grants are matching grants available to United Methodist churches and United Methodist sponsored or related agencies in Mississippi. Grants range from $500 to $2,500 per project, with one award of up to $10,000. They are awarded to form spiritual leaders, new places for new people, connections through existing congregations and engagement in ministry with the poor; therefore, living out the four Core Values of The POWER of We.